Original Works · poetry · writing

cradle in my strength

Hush now little dragon
Rest beside me to keep warm
your fire is yet too small my child

One day it will burn greater than my own
One day all will yield before you
One day the world will be but a thought beneath your wings

But today, rest
cradle in my strength
Lean on me while I prepare the world for your future rule

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Original Works · poetry · writing

Winter Dreams Approaching

Gather the frost that rests upon the last of Autumn’s leaves
Gather it in a bowl of cedar painted with the ashes of last year’s fallen leaves

When the bowl is full, bring it to the child who rests at the gate
When they taste it they will say it tastes the way snow sounds when tread underfoot

Do not go through the gate, wait
What you seek will come to you

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Cons & That Sweet, Sweet Herd Immunity

Okay so… this is just gonna be a relatively short post.
Originally, I had planned to write a poem. It was gonna rhyme, aabb format, it was gonna be great.

But I got like 15 minutes and DragonCon is in less than a week. So.

Shower daily.
Eat daily.
Take your vitamins.
Wash your hands.
Use hand sanitizer.
Generously give out hand sanitizer.

You got vitamin C? Got those vitamin C drops? Take ’em. And give ’em out like candy.

Herd immunity is a thing.
The healthier you keep yourself? The healthier you keep everyone else.
And the healthier you keep everyone else? The healthier you are.

Sharing is caring.

Share hand sanitizer, snacks, & vitamin C, not germs.
Germs can suck it.

Original Works · writing

Let’s Discuss it Over Tea (Part 3 of 3)

Read Parts One and Two First

<<<<<>>>>>

When she went home that evening, she began in earnest looking for patterns and gift ideas. A scarf was out of the question due to size alone. Gloves were out of the question because they were gloves. Socks were out for similar reasons. When you haven’t been knitting for very long, the vastness of the options available to you are not as apparent. With time, her mind started to drift to thoughts of Angela, and since that was technically still on topic, she allowed it.

She thought about how Angela liked to wear her hair cropped just above her chin. Heather wore her hair long, she always needed to be able to tie it back. She thought about how Angela’s hair was curly and how she always wore it down. It liked to bounce and float and then Heather knew what she wanted to make her. It could still be a relatively simple gift to make but Heather rarely went the simple route where Angela was concerned.

***

“Happy Valentine’s Day!” Angela was grinning as she handed Heather a gift bag.

“You didn’t have to get me anything.”

“Yes I did. I drew your name for the exchange, open it.”

Angela had made Heather a hat, a beret. It was soft and purple. She had felted it, it was so mooth and beautiful. Heather wouldn’t have been able to make an item of this quality, not for a while anyway. She sheepishly placed it on her head and finally decided that it WAS more of a sign than a curse.

“I got your name too. Here.”

It was a hair bow, a relatively large one, the yarn was soft and small, giving the bow a delicate touch. Heather had needed to buy new needles to make it, all the ones she’d had were too large. The bow had a simple cable pattern going across and she’d sewn alligator clips to the back so it could be worn easily or attached to a headband. Heather had to start over four seperate times due to mistakes and missed stitches. She went through two all nighters. But there was no doubt in her mind that it was worth it when she saw the look on Angela’s face.

“This is so beautiful. Oh my goodness, thank you so much. No wonder pot holders were out of the question, if I had these kind of ideas rolling around in my head, I’d nix pot holders too.” She put on the bow and smiled that brilliant smile. “All right. Shall I start the tea?”

“Yes but I need to tell you something. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do this, and then you gave me this and it’s so much better than anything I could have done-”

“Heather-”

“No. It’s better. You’re so much better than me at this and you’ve been wonderful, I mean, you’re always wonderful but this, what you’ve done for me… my gratitude is immeasureable. Which is part of why I’m so nervous.

Because even before any of this… well, what I mean is this has gotten ridiculous.”

“What?”

“It’s ridiculous. Farcical even. Are you aware of how unneccessarily difficult I’ve made things for myself? Everytime I try to steer clear of a difficulty, you need only be mentioned, and I dive head first into complicated territory. I try to quit the knitting circle, but not only do I not quit but I agree to biweekly workshops of intensive study. I want to make you potholders but you don’t use an oven so I guess I better make a hair ornament with a cable pattern of all things, with a gauge of yarn I’ve never used before, and new needles, because hey! Why not?”

“I mean… I do still use potholders… dishes out of the microwave can be hot.”

“And you said as much last week! That just proves my point! Now, I am not a lazy person but I have to face the fact that I dance a line of preposterous complication where you’re concerned.”

“I don’t mean to complicate your life, Heather.”

“YOU’RE not. I am. And I need to stop it. Right now. I like you. A lot. And since we’re already spending the day together, I wanted to know if you’d like to continue spending it with me, in a romantic fashion.”

“You’re asking me out because it’s simpler?”

“Simpler than knitting, yes.

“Well, what should we do?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re asking me out on a date right? For today? What should we do on the date?”

Heather had sincerely not thought that far ahead. She had been so focused on asking her out on a date, the planning of the potential date itself had completely left her mind.

“I never figured that part out. I have no idea, to be honest.”

“Well, we can discuss it over tea.”

The tea was a Lady Londonderry tea, the subtle taste of fruit intermingled well with the honey. Angela smiled at her cup before she burst out laughing.

“I guess we can finally quit the knitting circle now. This last one worked out okay but those gift exchanges would have gotten tedious.”

“I thought you loved the knitting circle, that’s why we went through all this.”

“Not really. To tell you the truth, I only stayed because you were there. I was so worried when you said you’d leave, I went a bit overboard. I thought I might be too obvious. I mean, I did ask you out on Valentine’s Day.”

“YOU asked ME out?”

“I was not very good at it, but yeah that is what I was trying to do.”

“All of this. All the books, the hours of instruction, the purl stitch muscle memory exercise, all of it was pretense so you could hang out with me?”

“Partially, yes. But that was all legit, I stand by my methods, and stand by my belief that you’re better at this than you think. It’s just, how’d you put it? I tend to dance a line of preposterous complication where you’re concerned.”

They drank their tea and by the third cup had still not figured out what to do for their first date, but it was of little consequence, the tea was delicious.

<<<<<>>>>>

This short story was originally written for the Wattpad account RomanceSparks’ Valentine Anthology.

 

Original Works · writing

Let’s Discuss it Over Tea (Part 2 of 3)

Read Part One First

<<<<<>>>>>

Heather stretched her back and let out a satisfying yawn. The second yawn in response alerted her to the fact that Angela had returned with the tea.

“Now don’t get that started,” Angela said through yet another yawn, “we can’t nap until you’ve mastered the purl stitch.”

“Then we’ll never sleep.”

“Oh please. You’re doing great. By Valentine’s day, you might be ahead of me.”

“I doubt it. I’m not as studious as you are.”

“Meh. You have a greater knack for this than you think. You just do better learning in a group. So we’ll just learn in a group from now on.”

“Two people don’t make a group.”

“Sure they do. You are a beautiful, talented woman and you need to recognize your talent. By Spring, you’ll be getting so many compliments you’ll be sick of it.”

Heather doubted she’d progress in the way Angela described but today was the first time she felt like she had some clue as to what she was doing and that felt wonderful. She quietly sipped her tea. It was a ginger peach tea, and it tasted heavenly. On the tray there was a selection of vanilla butterscotch cookies. Their smell was reminiscent of Angela and the vanilla that wafted off her.

Potholders. They were embarrassingly simple but she’d be able to make them and they’re useful. And if you can’t think of a gift that someone will want, it is always prudent to at least get them something they can use.

***

Angela hadn’t used an oven in over five years. She hadn’t used a toaster oven in over three years. It was their second day of workshopping and Angela had been talking about her favorite microwave recipes and let slip her lack of oven use. To add insult to injury, she joked about how many people thought she baked because of her vanilla perfume. Upon hearing this, Heather’s first step was to panic internally. She had already finished the, essentially useless, potholders. She had been quite proud of them: even tension, no warped edges, and no blocking needed. They were a testament to her improvement and were now officially a terrible gift idea. Next step, was for her to cycle through gift ideas that were within her skill level and she could finish in a week. She couldn’t think of a single thing. For the next hour of work that day and well into their second tea time, she grew more and more exasperated.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

“I’m having trouble figuring out what to make for the gift exchange.”

“Just make some potholders.”

“That’s literally the only thing I could think of and it’s not an option.”

“Why not? Potholders are useful.”

“Not to everybody.”

“Even people who don’t cook can use potholders. Hot dishes are hot out of the microwave and out of the oven.”

“Potholders are out.”

“Ok. You want to meet again to work on the gifts?”

“No. I want to be done by next week.I just want to get it over with.”

“Well, then let’s meet to celebrate being done. You doing anything on Valentine’s day?”

“No. Why?”

“We can meet up on Valentine’s day then. It’ll be fun, we’ll do almost no knitting and drink twice as much tea as usual.”

“I don’t mind meeting, but wouldn’t you rather do something fun, with someone special?”

“Like who, my mother? I’ll spend time with her this weekend, after the knitting circle. And we will be doing something fun. Drinking tea is fun.”

“Is it?”

“It is in a social setting. So show up so we can have a social setting. I’ll have heart shaped cookies and everything. We can even watch a movie about knitters falling in love or something if you want to stay on theme.”

It would be inaccurate to say that Heather got her hopes up. But she recognized a good opportunity when she saw one. She planned to have her gift, whatever it ended up being, ready by Valentine’s Day.

<<<<<>>>>>

This short story was originally written for the Wattpad account RomanceSparks & their Valentine Anthology.

***

Find Part Three Here

Original Works · writing

Let’s Discuss it Over Tea (Part 1 of 3)

Heather wasn’t entirely sure if it was a sign or a curse. She was leaning toward curse. She had attended with every intention to quit. It was going to be her last day. But those knitters with their passion for their craft and their constant encouragement and their overall pleasantness were quite intimidating.

So, despite her earlier determination, she drew a name for the Valentine’s gift exchange. Even that would have been fine, if she had drawn anyone else’s name. She would have come to her senses and put the name back. But she had the misfortune of pulling Angela’s name.

So here she sits, sipping lemongrass tea, sitting dejectedly near the back of the coffee shop, and contemplating the duality of the accursed.

“Hey! Mind if I sit with you?”

Angela has a certain effect on Heather. Nothing too extreme, your standard ‘crush on you, turns me to mush’ effect. Heather was merely inexperienced at handling such effects. Angela ordered an earl grey tea and joined Heather at her table. They talked about the weather for a bit. Heather liked talking about the weather, and she never understood why chatting about the weather is considered so negatively, it affects so much of your life. Angela always was up for talking about the weather. It was one of the things that left Heather with a sense of contentment when she talked to her. And as it always does, the conversation turned to knitting.

“Heather, who’d you pull for the exchange?”

“Isn’t it supposed to be a secret?”

“It’s not like it’s secret santa. Apparently, they do gift exchanges a lot. I hope we have one for arbor day.”

“The tree planting holiday?”

“Well, I’m not gonna plant trees. Might as well knit a scarf in celebration of those who will.”

“Glad I won’t be there for that. Not a huge fan of green.”

“What do you mean you won’t be there?!”

Angela always had a way of putting Heather at ease. She was easy to talk to and had a brilliant, disarming smile. Of course, this led to situations, like this one, where she’d nonchalantly blurt out things that might have been to her advantage to keep to herself.

“Well… I’m quitting the knitting circle. Today was supposed to be my last day but I guess I got caught up in the excitement.”

“But why are you leaving? Have we made you uncomfortable?”

“No no. Everyone’s wonderful, I’m just no good at knitting and it is a bit intimidating, everyone else has been knitting for years.”

“I only started in November and if you’re gone, I’ll be the only novice. You’re my comrade! Don’t abandon me.”

“Angela, you have an affinity for knitting that I lack, you have to admit. You’ll be fine.”

It wasn’t that Heather was horrible at knitting, it’s that she was so consistently horrible at it. No even tension to speak of, yarn slipping off needles at random intervals, and some stitches just seemed beyond her comprehension. At one point, she had even hoped that her lack of improvement was simply due to being distracted by Angela. After all, caring about what a person thinks of you, can lead to you messing up in front of them. But time and practicing at home had proven that theory wrong. She just kinda sucked.

It had been a frustrating and humbling two months.

“I’ll tutor you.”

“What?”

“I have an affinity, right? Then let’s workshop. See where and why you’re having trouble. Just hold on until the gift exchange and if you still want to quit, I won’t stop you. But please, give me the chance to help you first.”

“I’d feel bad putting you through all that work.”

“Don’t dismiss it out of hand, we can discuss it over tea or something.”

“I mean, technically, we’re already doing that. We have tea and we’re discussing it.”

“I’m serious. You’d be doing this as a personal favor to me. Please?”

Suffice it to say, they set up time to meet later that week.

***

“Yeah. Tension is a surprisingly easy fix. Instead of focusing on the yarn’s tension in your hand, just focus on the size of the stitch on the needle. Do your best to keep them the same size, adjust as needed, and you’ll be good to go.”

They’d been working nearly two hours already and were still on the knit stitch. Heather now had more resources than she knew what to do with. She owned a couple knitting books already but Angela had gifted her another and was letting her borrow two more, with the promise of even more to come. The first hour was spent watching some of Angela’s favorite online instruction videos. They watched four seperate videos about the same casting on method. They were all at different angles. Heather quickly learned that what she’d mistaken for an affinity for knitting was actually an affinity for intensive study. Angela had begun knitting in November but had begun researching well before that, in September. It took time and a great deal of patience, but progress was being made.

Angela had helped Heather fix a few issues she was having and set solid groundwork for future lessons. She didn’t plan to let Heather leave until they’d taken care of Heather’s personal blind spot, the purl stitch.

The purl stitch is simply the knit stitch backwards so whenever Heather would attempt it, she’d end up either with a knit stitch or an impressive mess. To begin this lesson, Angela sat close to Heather and began the first row of stitches, she explained what she did with each stitch, with each movement of the needle. And with the second row, she did it again, explaining each movement, going painstakingly slow so Heather could concentrate on each movement.

“Okay. Now I want you to put your hands on mine.”

“…Why?”

“Because it helps. I’ll keep going and you’ll put your hands in place over mine for muscle memory or something. It works. I had Ms. Johnetta do this exercise for me when I was trying to get the hang of the purl stitch. This exercise is already proven to work for the exact stitch you need, so come on.”

And so they continued, this time with Heather’s hands over Angela’s as she continued to listen and watch her knit. Heather was acutely aware of how close they were sitting. She was close enough to tell that Angela smelled faintly of vanilla, perhaps from baking. Heather did try her best to concentrate, she really did. But hours of work and sitting tensely had taken its toll and she wasn’t getting anywhere with this lesson.

“Okay. I’m done.”

“We just started.”

“No, no. We are into the third hour of this little workshop and you’re suggesting we do this TWICE next week? I am a human being, not a knitting machine, which are actually a thing apparently?”

“My research hasn’t covered that.”

“Anyway, what was I saying? I’m tired and toxic fitness culture lied, you do not work through the pain!”

“Are you in pain?”

“Well, no. I mean, my hands are a bit stiff.”

“I can show you some stretches for that. And, would you like to take a break?”

“Oh my goodness, yes!”

“Well that’s no problem. I’ll make tea, it’ll help you relax. You know, you ramble when you’re stressed out.”

Heather did know. She also knew that when she was really nervous she used uneccessarily big words. This time, she was far too tired to be nervous. Heather hadn’t realized how tired she was until she gave herself a chance to rest. Sitting so close to the object of one’s affections while simultaneously attempting to master the fundamentals of knitting can lead to a certain tenseness.

<<<<<>>>>>

This short story was originally written for the Wattpad account RomanceSparks’ Valentine Anthology.

***

Find Part Two Here

 

Original Works · writing

Princess Starlight Honeycakes Fights the Red Tape

Glamour is a necessity in this world. Doubly so in the realms of magic & justice. So when Princess Starlight Honeycake’s magical girl evil fighting costume was revealed to be the horrendous atrocity that it was, she knew that something had to be done.

As soon as possible.

The covenant of words & secrets is a resource that few use & the few who do, do so rarely. Why? Simply put, it is a major pain. Several secret handshakes, each longer & more convoluted than the last. The redundancy of having to take an oath of secrecy, as well as an oath of hush hushy-ness. Not to mention that they only take appointments from late morning to early afternoon, which is a cheap ploy to force clients to participate in their daily brunch, let no-one tell you otherwise.

Still, she persevered and made her way through each obstacle, even brunch, a feat made all the more impressive since the eggs left a lot to be desired. Princess Starlight Honeycakes was led to the proper office and filled out the necessary paperwork. It was done, all the pieces were in place. In 5 to 7 business days, the true work would begin.

Original Works · poetry · writing

Just So History Knows Where I Stand…

I'm really pissed I gotta say this
I'm really pissed people are making this an actual debate

I'm really pissed they try to argue the sides are the same
And I'm really pissed people keep saying, "choose love, not hate"

Love can be violent, love can be loud
Love can be angry and unyielding

Love is punching nazis and tearing down statues
Because love is more than a feeling

Love is not 'one and done'
Love is action, love is a choice

Love is not protecting those who wish to annihilate me
Love is not sacrificing my life and safety, to give them a voice

Nazis are bad, this is comically, heartbreakingly simple.
Nazis should not be given a platform, this should not be a scary stance to admit!

Just so history knows where I stand…
Fuck all of this nazi, white supremacist bullsh*t